A case of mis-taken identity?

Imagine you are a koala in a child’s story book, hanging out doing typical koala-y things with eucalyptus when the child jabs you with her finger, exclaiming ‘Look! A cute, furry bear!’

Now, you probably do look quite like a bear to the untrained eye – you have fur, paws, cute teddy nose – and nobody corrects the child to tell her that, actually, you are a marsupial,* so from that moment on, as far as you are aware, you are a bear.

I will end the analogy here because I have already spent an unplanned hour researching koalas (eucalyptus is toxic / they have opposable thumbs / chlamydia is widespread in some koala populations), but the point is that growing up – navigating childhood, adolescence and adulthood – unaware that you are autistic or ADHD or otherwise neurodivergent, is like this insofar as you have been given or mis-taken an identity that is not yours.

To recap:

You have struggled through life, living as a bear, doing the normal bear things that other bears seem to find easy, and have always felt different to the other bears, because YOU ARE NOT A BEAR.**

*I had to look this up as my nine-year-old son wasn’t around to ask.

**This is, obviously, a continuation of the analogy above that I said had ended.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: